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Guilt has relative existence in one sense or another every man experiences guilt Whether or not this guilt is worthy of punishment however is another question For this modern society has created trials that decide whether or not a person is guilty However sometimes the actual guilt or innocence of an individual is not the most important aspect of his or her trial In the novel The Trial Franz Kafka uses his main character Joseph K to show the unimportance of the actual guilt of an individual Although K is arrested and summoned by the courts he is never informed of his crime or questioned on his actual guilt The trial that K is put through can be interpreted on two levels the first of which is a literal interpretation of a criminal trial The second level can be seen as the internal trial that he must go through to cope with his own anxiety K and his trial are used to represent the eternal guilt of human beings in the eyes of a bureaucracy and in this sense K is guilty However the question of Ks guilt is not important to Kafkas intention to show his idea that the innocent and the guilty are both executed without distinction in the end In Kafkas beliefs the courts treat all men as if they were guilty Joseph K is a prime example of this treatment He is never told about his crime nor of how the trial is going He merely waits until he is summoned and if he is not he is still forced to live his life according to the courts This is what Kafka believes happens to all individuals they are controlled by the society and forced to agree with what the society implements upon them K never found out what his alleged crime was and will never find out However he was forced to agree with his own guilt because the
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